Based on the decibel level and the foot traffic at Reese Court last weekend, you would have thought Eastern was playing an archrival and that the score was close. Real close. Buzzer-beating close.
You would have been wrong.
It was robots. Lots and lots of robots hooping it up on the basketball court.
Over the last few weeks, the EWU campus has been home to FIRST Lego robot builders and FIRST Robotics competitors, and this weekend Eastern will host hundreds of students competing in the Washington State Science Olympiad.
Besides being genuinely fun to watch, these events also create a profound love of science in young students. It’s a hardcore, full-on geek love that cannot be stopped by Jersey Shore or Ke$ha or the newest Internet time-suck (I’m looking at you, Ridiculously Photogenic Guy).
It’s the type of love that can make even the hardiest, most overworked, about-to-graduate EWU science major smile out of sheer joy.
Remember the first time you fell in love with a book or a sport or a song? Remember how you just couldn’t stop? That’s what these kids have.
Eastern is quickly becoming a top home for regional science activity. Part of it is the increased emphasis the university places on helping EWU students become fantastic engineers, programmers and designers.
Part of it is the recently built Computing and Engineering Building. It houses robots. Complex machines for testing thermal dynamics and fluid mechanics. Cyber security laboratories. Sweet 3D graphics and animation equipment.
It all comes together to make Eastern a perfect place for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
EWU students are passionate about their studies in STEM, which is why so many of them volunteer for these events. It’s a great way for EWU students to share their love of science and help educate the next generation of American scientists and inventors, but it’s also a great way to test real world skills.
After all, if you can explain difficult scientific theories and principles to children and their parents, you can definitely explain them to your peers and professors.
We’ve all read the stories about the decline of science and math education in the United States, but these are the types of events that reverse the trend.
It’s time to get your geek on.